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OSH, according to the online urban dictionary, was once thought to be an acronym for "Port Outbound, Starboard Home." It seems that when taking a steamship from England to the Far East, POSH put the passenger on the more desirable shady side of the ship in both directions. That bit of etymology has since been debunked, but I still use the principle for air travel: Southbound in the morning, I always prefer a window on the starboard side of the plane. Northbound it would be the port side, to keep the morning sun out of the window and the ground features in better lighting. Yes, I still love to look out the window, and the shady side of the plane has a much better view. I also choose my window seat in the last row, well clear of the wing. That back row middle seat is always the last one filled, and more often than not it's empty. Flip up the arm rest and there's more space than in business class, and I have two tray tables to work on.

Helm, grad student at the university, and my crew when I can drag her away from her windsurfer. Spring semester had just ended and she was flying home to LA. "Max, do you know why they don't let turkey vultures into airports?" she asked in a louder-than necessary voice, still short of breath but not too winded to be her usual smart-aleck self. "I give up," I conceded after half a minute. "Because they eat carry-on!" she giggled. I groaned, and so did the guy in the aisle seat and the three people in the next row. If this was setting the tone for the flight, I could forget about getting any work done. After being scolded by the flight attendant, Lee somehow managed to squeeze her too-big bag under the seat in front. The cabin door closed, this time for good, and we backed away from the terminal.


e had hardly had a chance to exchange post-race analysis of the last ll was going according to plan on weekend's races when Lee began an onmy last trip to Southern California. It was board science experiment. a crowded flight, but the passengers had "This is really cool," she insisted as she all boarded and the middle back-row seat produced a set of was still empty keys. They were as usual. As the not on a regular cabin door closed key chain, but on I congratulated a short length of myself on anothvery thin Spectra er good call. But line. She handed just before dogme the keys. ging it tight, the "We're going flight attendant to measure acswung it open celeration dur again for one ing ground roll," more passenger. she informed me. My luck had "When the enrun out. I didn't gines hit full powlook up as that er, just hold the last passenger keys up as a penstuf fed a notdulum, in front of quite-legal car the window. I'll ry-on into the take some photos overhead bin, or with my phone, when the guy in and we can meathe aisle seat got sure the angle up to let her in. between the pen "Like, just dulum string and in the St. Nick the horizon to get of time!" she gasped, still out "The Diurnal Cycle of Surface Divergence over the Global our acceleration Oceans," Wooda, Ohlerb et al, Univ. of Washington. in g's — it's just of breath from the tangent of the angle of the pendulum the run through the terminal and up the from vertical." jetway, as she sank into the seat that I "Sure, I can handle that," I said as I had hoped would serve as my overflow inspected the knot that held her keys on desk for this flight. She had another toothe string. I expected a bowline for that big-to-be-legal carry-on bag on her lap. application, but it looked more like a You only get one guess: It was Lee


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Latitude 38

• May, 2014

figure-eight on a bight. "Really thick marine layer this morning," Lee noted, pointing up at the overcast. "We won't have much of a view. And, like, much worse, I'll miss a good day of windsurfing, 'cause the sea breeze will be cranking today." "And I'm missing an ocean race," I complained. "But how do you know how thick the clouds are? Don't you want to wait 'til we see how long it takes to climb out of them?" "I've been tracking the 12-Zulu Oakland sounding," she informed me. "Today we have a thick and moist marine layer, as indicated by an inverted temperature profile up to a couple of kilometers." "All that from a sounding?" I asked. "We already know the water depth around the airport..." "No, silly," she sighed. "An atmospheric sounding with a weather balloon. It goes up at 5 a.m. PDT, and returns temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, all as a function of altitude. And, like, some other parameters are calculated that indicate the stability of the air. Here, it's available from a U. of Wyoming website, of all places. I'll show you – it's at upperair/sounding.html. "Lee, you can't use your phone to connect to the Web on the plane." "Got it saved, no worries," she assured me. "Airplane mode, I'll bring it up as soon as we're above ten thousand."

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Latitude 38 May 2014  

The May 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 May 2014  

The May 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.